Driving north from Los Angeles along the Pacific Coast Highway provides spectacular ocean views. During my time living in California last summer, my boyfriend and I discovered that a desert lies just beyond the hills bordering the PCH. We spent half a day hiking the Solstice Canyon, which is located right off the PCH near Malibu in the Santa Monica Mountains. As we drove into the hills we saw the terrain quickly change from beach to desert and felt the sea breeze fade away into stagnant heat. We embarked on our hike through this canyon, climbing high up its walls to find ruins, waterfalls and unique plant life.
The Solstice Canyon has an abundance of natural beauty, but also has ruins of an old mansion that was destroyed in a wildfire. We passed by a waterfall (though it was a little dried up due to a drought), and ascended the most challenging trail Solstice Canyon has: The Rising Sun.
We were tired but proud after we hiked the hardest trail inside the canyon. But after hours of sweating in the heat we were ready for the beach! Luckily, within 20 minutes after getting to our car we found ourselves laying on the silky sand near the shores of Malibu.
It was a perfect day through and through, and I highly recommend this balance of beach and desert to anyone visiting southern California! For more information on hiking Solstice Canyon, check out this website.
Do you have a favorite hike? Please share!
For more on California, check out these posts:
- 24 Hours in Santa Catalina
- A Dreamy Drive on the PCH
- 12 Hours in San Diego, CA
- Captured Moments in California
If you enjoyed what you just read we would love to have you join the Wonderlost community! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter for even more travel tips and inspiration.